All three poets published this month are university students, pursuing either undergraduate or graduate degrees in literature. At least two out of the three are also very much involved in their local literary communities. Mark Sokolowski is one of the editors of In/Words, the Carleton University publication put out by English Lit students; Kristy McKay is the publisher of spire poetry poster, now in Edmonton, is the former host of the University of Ottawa's Cafe Nostalgica Open Poetry Stage. It's great to see how the marriage of academics and community involvement leads to fine poetry.
For those of you who are writers, if you are currently experiencing writers' block, I suggest you attend a reading, and talk to your fellow writers afterward over a beer or coffee. Nothing inspires more than dialog and listening to what other writers are doing. For those of you who don't write and enjoy reading, this is also a great opportunity to interact with writers and let them know how much you enjoy what they do.
There's a common misconception that writers mostly sit around by themselves and listen to the wind whistle through the tall grass in order to gain inspiration. Interacting with other writers through their work, through writing about their work and through dialog is essential for inspiration and for keeping one's own writing up to date.
If you have summer holidays or a slower pace over the warm months, this will be a good time to engage with the literary community. Literary activity in this city is still going strong. Come out to the Ottawa Small Press Fair in June to meet with publishers and writers from all over Canada and even the US. Libraries and bookstores are full of books waiting for your pleasure. Blogs and websites cover a range of interesting literary related topics, as do radio shows and podcasts. The summer is an opportunity to spend more time with books, authors and ideas.
Thanks to this monthís selection committee:
Kelly Clarke, Marcus McCann, Megan McGrath, Kemisha Newman, Melissa Upfold, Victoria Vernell, and Betty Warrington-Kearsley.
If you have questions, comments, or pitchers of sangria to share, please e-mail me at email@example.com or stop by our table at the Small Press Fair on June 16 and say hello. I'd love to hear how you are engaging with words and writers this summer.